There must be 50 ways to leave Time Warner
If you’re fed up with rising rates and a lack of help from Time
Warner — or any cable/Internet provider in Maine, for that matter — here are some
things you might want to try.
Try getting your TV stations from an over-the-air signal for free, like we
did back in the day. With all broadcasters using digital signals, the picture
quality can be good, though the signal is still often dependent on weather
and your location.
YouÃ¢Â€Â™d be surprised how many channels you can get for
free by using a $75 indoor-outdoor antenna or
a combination of antennas. Many people in Greater Portland find they can get
the local ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX and CW stations over the air, plus a few extras,
like PBS World and the rerun channel MeTV.
Find out which antenna or antennas you might need to
get specific stations in your area at
antennaweb.org. Find out which channels
are available over the air in your area, and what the channel numbers are,
Stories abound of customers complaining to Time Warner and ending up with
a discount, so it’s probably worth a try. Time Warner says a majority of its
Maine customers are enjoying “promotional pricing” so they admit they give
different prices to different customers. Consumer Reports magazine advises
that, based on responses from more than 50,000 of its subscribers, negotiating
with your cable or Internet provider or threatening to leave can lower your
If you donÃ¢Â€Â™t feel like negotiating, switch to a satellite TV provider and
get their promotional rate for a year, often as low as $20 or $30 a month.
Then switch back to cable and get their promotional rate for a year, also
sometimes as low as $20 a month for basic low-tier channel packages.
The Roku Internet video set-top box (AP photo).
Explore the TV-watching options on the Internet. You can often go to a
networkÃ¢Â€Â™s website and watch shows there, but maybe not when theyÃ¢Â€Â™re brand new.
Streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix are worth checking out too.
For about $75, you can get a TV Ã¢Â€Âœsmart boxÃ¢Â€Â (Roku is a well-known brand)
that allows you to stream Internet video services on your TV.
The next time your cable TV goes out for six hours or more, go to your
provider and ask for a refund. And tell them itÃ¢Â€Â™s the law. Specifically,
itÃ¢Â€Â™s a Maine statute found under the heading Ã¢Â€ÂœTitle 30-A: 3010. Consumer
rights and protection relating to cable television service.Ã¢Â€Â The first part
of the statute says that if cable television service is interupted Ã¢Â€Âœfor six
or more consecutive hours in a 30-day periodÃ¢Â€Â the provider will, Ã¢Â€Âœupon
request,Ã¢Â€Â grant the subscriber a Ã¢Â€Âœpro rata creditÃ¢Â€Â or rebate. But itÃ¢Â€Â™s
not automatic Ã¢Â€Â“ you have to ask.